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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1104

post #16546 of 17912

... here a short write-up about my very positive experience with angled ear-pads for the HE-400...

post #16547 of 17912

First post!

 

OK, the Hifiman HE-400s have been on my radar for a long time.  And I'm finally ready to place an order.  But now I'm hearing that there is a new / revised / updated HE-400i due out soon?

 

So now I'm kind of stuck on what to do.  I guess since all the reviews I've read were on the original HE-400s, I should probably just stick to them.

 

Are there any details on the new "i" model?

 

Thanks.

post #16548 of 17912

Only that the HE-400 will be discontinued after this final product batch, and the upcoming 400i will have a "sound quality" more akin to the HE-500-- hell if anyone knows what that means.  The 400i will be a single-sided planar magnetic with suspension strap style headband so should be more comfortable-- should be.

post #16549 of 17912

Order placed.  Went with the original HE-400.  I can't wait to hear these.

post #16550 of 17912

Hey guys I have a question and would like to hear your opinion on something.

 

Last year (mid March of 2013) I've purchased a pair of HE-400s. At the time of my purchase the Head-Direct website advertised a 3 year warranty on HE-400 model but couple of months ago I've noticed that the same website now offers only a 1 year warranty. I've emailed customerservice@head-direct.com with my inquiry and this is the response I've gotten.

 

Quote:

Customer Service customerservice@head-direct.com

 

Hi,

We provide one year warranty for all HE-400s.
 

Which leaves me wondering - what the ****?

Normally I wouldn't worry about these things as I possess basic soldering skills but from my understanding this soon-to-be discontinued model will be quite difficult if not impossible to fix at home if a driver goes dead.

 

Don't get me wrong, Hifiman have been a pleasure to deal with after my cable went dead and one of the pleather earpads fell apart. They offered me replacements free of cost but have they just pulled a bait-and-switch on us?

 

I enjoy listening to HE-400s but it seems like Hifiman do not stand by their product with confidence. I can't help but feel that I should have probably went with something from Sennheiser instead, at least they offers better warranty, their model lifespan is longer, and the products seem to last decades with replacement parts easily available.


Edited by Bogatyr - 2/28/14 at 9:10pm
post #16551 of 17912

Nice write-up. Could you tell me if they bleed a lot?  I.e. how loud is it in comparison?

post #16552 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by jschlarb View Post

So far I've listened to Gary Burton, Ralph Towner, Hubert Laws, Gayngs, The Police and Paul Simon. They all sound great, but Rock seems to bring out the best in the HE-400s. I'm currently on a jazz kick, so I do wonder how the Sennheiser HD650's would compare to these. But I just couldn't pass these up for $300. I know my son will really enjoy his Dubstep and Nordic Metal with these if they end up trickling down to him. 

 

Very comfortable, and I'm having feelings of nostalgia because I remember my dad coming home from work wearing ridiculously huge headphones. Yes, he drove with them. I love my dad.

 

Hi, I got my HE-400's a couple of weeks ago and also bought an Asgard 2 amp and then a week ago the HD650's. I find the 650's allow me to hear a lot more details in the music. They also have depth to the 'stage' and a wider stage. They are also more exciting than the HE-400's in general. I'm amazed at how the HE-400's have such little depth to the stage.

 

Having said that, every once in a while the HE-400's astound with getting timbre on an instrument or even a vocal really correct. What is correct? Well, it's a bit esoteric but you know it when it happens. I was a drummer most of my life and every once in awhile the HE-400 will get the tone of a particular cymbal so very correct! Also, oddly enough the first time I noticed how it can be pretty amazing on vocals was on two old Rod Stewart songs (Maggie May and Stay with Me). I'm not really a fan of his and was just going thru my FLAC collection and on a whim put these on and was very impressed. I wanted to see how they would handle recordings that were done when the technology was a lot less than what we have available now.

 

With other genres, EDM, Jazz, Classical I find the HE-400's hit or miss. On some EDM they are very engaging and then on some tracks where I expect them to shine they are just dull. I spent days playign with eq settings to get the midrange corrected on the HE-400 and it's just a lot of hassle. I found that I'd be making small changes all the time for different recordings.

 

When the HD650's arrived I was at first underwhelmed. I set them to burn in for about 24 hours over a couple of days and they have opened up a lot and have pulled away from the HE-400's as all rounders by quite a bit. No fussing with eq, I put them on put some music on and am very happy.

 

So, I really didn't intend to get two more pairs of headphones and was going to send one of them back to amazon, but while the 650 is the clear winner for me, at the price that the HE-400 is right now, I may just keep them as well. However with the old desert island question in this case it would be a very easy and quick decision, I'd take the HD650's.

 

Anyway, if you can, listen to the 650's. The two headphones sound very different. Midrange detail on the 650 is astounding.

 

Oh, and the 650 is a bit more comfortable even though the 400 really isn't that bad. And, of course the disclaimer, we all hear differently etc. so the only way to REALLY know for yourself is to have both side by side for a few days.

post #16553 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

Sure.

 

Foobar bar EQ, and below that the Electri-Q parametric EQ file.

 

 

 

HE400 Treble Fixer EQ foobar.zip 0k .zip file

 

 

 

 

HE400 Treble Fixer EQ.zip 0k .zip file

 

I know this post is very old, but the eletri-q parametric EQ file does nothing for me (in Eletri-Q when I import it, it changes nothing) but the foobar one works well. I am wondering though if the Eletric-Q one would work better...

post #16554 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemos View Post
 

 

I know this post is very old, but the eletri-q parametric EQ file does nothing for me (in Eletri-Q when I import it, it changes nothing) but the foobar one works well. I am wondering though if the Eletric-Q one would work better...

 

Yeah the Electri-Q one should work better. Pretty obvious since you only get a limited number of bars to work with on foobar's default EQ.

 

When you say it changes nothing, do you mean the sound doesn't change or the graphic doesn't change?

post #16555 of 17912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citizen13469 View Post
 

 

Hi, I got my HE-400's a couple of weeks ago and also bought an Asgard 2 amp and then a week ago the HD650's. I find the 650's allow me to hear a lot more details in the music. They also have depth to the 'stage' and a wider stage. They are also more exciting than the HE-400's in general. I'm amazed at how the HE-400's have such little depth to the stage.

 

Having said that, every once in a while the HE-400's astound with getting timbre on an instrument or even a vocal really correct. What is correct? Well, it's a bit esoteric but you know it when it happens. I was a drummer most of my life and every once in awhile the HE-400 will get the tone of a particular cymbal so very correct! Also, oddly enough the first time I noticed how it can be pretty amazing on vocals was on two old Rod Stewart songs (Maggie May and Stay with Me). I'm not really a fan of his and was just going thru my FLAC collection and on a whim put these on and was very impressed. I wanted to see how they would handle recordings that were done when the technology was a lot less than what we have available now.

 

With other genres, EDM, Jazz, Classical I find the HE-400's hit or miss. On some EDM they are very engaging and then on some tracks where I expect them to shine they are just dull. I spent days playign with eq settings to get the midrange corrected on the HE-400 and it's just a lot of hassle. I found that I'd be making small changes all the time for different recordings.

 

When the HD650's arrived I was at first underwhelmed. I set them to burn in for about 24 hours over a couple of days and they have opened up a lot and have pulled away from the HE-400's as all rounders by quite a bit. No fussing with eq, I put them on put some music on and am very happy.

 

So, I really didn't intend to get two more pairs of headphones and was going to send one of them back to amazon, but while the 650 is the clear winner for me, at the price that the HE-400 is right now, I may just keep them as well. However with the old desert island question in this case it would be a very easy and quick decision, I'd take the HD650's.

 

Anyway, if you can, listen to the 650's. The two headphones sound very different. Midrange detail on the 650 is astounding.

 

Oh, and the 650 is a bit more comfortable even though the 400 really isn't that bad. And, of course the disclaimer, we all hear differently etc. so the only way to REALLY know for yourself is to have both side by side for a few days.

 

I owned both of these hp's for a long time as the make good complements to each. Now I only have the 650 while I wait for the new hifiman's to arrive. 

post #16556 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post
 

 

Yeah the Electri-Q one should work better. Pretty obvious since you only get a limited number of bars to work with on foobar's default EQ.

 

When you say it changes nothing, do you mean the sound doesn't change or the graphic doesn't change?

 

Graphic doesn't change...haven't tested sound as the EQ doesn't show any signs of change.

post #16557 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemos View Post
 

 

Graphic doesn't change...haven't tested sound as the EQ doesn't show any signs of change.

 

Strange. Just to make sure, you're going into Menu > Presets > Import Preset?

 

Does it change when you select one of the ready made presets from the top of the screen? Also what version of electri-q do you have? It says in the About screen.

post #16558 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post
 

 

Strange. Just to make sure, you're going into Menu > Presets > Import Preset?

 

Does it change when you select one of the ready made presets from the top of the screen? Also what version of electri-q do you have? It says in the About screen.

 

It changes when I user one of the ready made presets, I have 1.8.8 that was listed on the Electri-Q website. and yes I'm importing the preset...

post #16559 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemos View Post
 

 

It changes when I user one of the ready made presets, I have 1.8.8 that was listed on the Electri-Q website. and yes I'm importing the preset...

 

I think I've found your problem. You're using the standalone version of Electri-Q, not the posihfopit version. My standalone version is v1.8.9. My posihfopit version v1.0

 

Only the posihfopit version works with foobar, but you will need a VST wrapper to allow them to interface. My recommendation is this one.

post #16560 of 17912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citizen13469 View Post

 Citizen's review . . . . .

Just wanted to say thanks for a great review. I really appreciated your ''recording" focused assessment and especially pointing out that the HE-400 can occasionally come across as accurate and realistic. That is spot on IMO. I needed about 2 weeks to really love mine. The "hit or miss" nature is really, if you take the time, a function in part of recording quality. Since I am the HE-400 "apologist" when it comes to that, I like to point it out.;)

 

Recording quality is all over the map (and I am not talking about bit-rates here), and imaging / staging fall apart to my ears, on occasion, when recordings really "pan" too hard to the right or left, or do something a little "unnatural" - like set drums to the left and a vocalist to the right and peg them there. That may be how the "stage" is arranged, and work well with speakers, but it isn't how I want it mixed for headphones! Stuff like that takes me right out of the moment and speeds up fatigue - not unlike having two people carry on conversations beside me and expecting me to somehow respond to both while a subway train comes to a halt in front of us. They HE-400s are also unforgiving, but for the most part, I feel they achieve a sense of realism and "fun" that is more often awesome than not.

 

I've not owned the HD-650s myself, but I have heard quite a few Sennheisers so I 'get' much of the appeal (comfort in fit and also sound quality). To me, however, most Senn's I've owned lack the speed and attack that really help get my attention and blood going. They were better for me as "background" phones and less successful when I really started listening critically and trying to search through the layers of sound. Also, while the midrange is great, they always trade off quite a bit of bass and treble energy for the sake of low-fatigue. Sometimes I just wanted more at both ends if you know what I mean! Anyway, the 650s have been out forever, and the main reason I've skipped them is that I think there are more interesting phones out for $500 these days. :D

 

I've been taking a break from the HE-400s and listening to Pioneer's BS-22s with subwoofer (I snapped a couple weeks ago). The imaging and midrange are so nice on them - vocals are always pegged to the center, and in front. My distance from the stage is literally my distance from the speaker - it is an uncanny and, to steal from a reviewer, "very seductive" effect. The treble is a tad laid-back for my taste, but they still retain great air and detail while seeming just a little warm with the sub working (sub is actually really good if a bit loose and boomy at around 40 hz). In effect, for $200 bucks all in, the Pioneers are highly satisfying. The main drawback is a lack of ultimate dynamic range - they go into compression somewhere around 90-100 dBs, so they don't get any "crank it" points, but at anything less than that they have the same awesome "effortlessness" of the HE-400s. They are the first speaker, of any type, I have ever owned, that I can listen to straight-up classical piano on without almost immediately sensing a timbre problem. Now that is a good speaker. Sadly, the HE-400s don't quite get there on the piano - there are some resonances / spikes in response in places I am not sure about that get in the way of a perfect performance. There is no question that I will be getting the Pioneer towers at some point - for about $250/pair they are a straight up giveaway to non-wealthy audiophiles like me.

 

Anyway, my plan is either to eventually sell the HE-400 and HD-595s I own for some 400i's, or I am going to migrate over to some Focal's. I've loved focal's car line and they have a very good phone out for a mere $300 - a good fit for my budget. Oppo also has some great planars coming out (don't know the price but they are a good young company). I just can't really spend a huge amount on phones with short warranties and a slight lack of development (mainly in fit and finish). Not when I can get a killer set of (5) speakers for practically the same price.

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